Distal radioulnar joint reaction force following ulnar shortening: Diaphyseal osteotomy versus wafer resection

Colin D. Canham, Michael J. Schreck, Noorullah Maqsoodi, Susan Messing, Mark Olles, John C. Elfar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose To compare how ulnar diaphyseal shortening and wafer resection affect distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) joint reaction force (JRF) using a nondestructive method of measurement. Our hypothesis was that ulnar shortening osteotomy would increase DRUJ JRF more than wafer resection. Methods Eight fresh-frozen human cadaveric upper limbs were obtained. Under fluoroscopic guidance, a threaded pin was inserted into the lateral radius orthogonal to the DRUJ and a second pin was placed in the medial ulna coaxial to the radial pin. Each limb was mounted onto a mechanical tensile testing machine and a distracting force was applied across the DRUJ while force and displacement were simultaneously measured. Data sets were entered into a computer and a polynomial was generated and solved to determine the JRF. This process was repeated after ulnar diaphyseal osteotomy, ulnar re-lengthening, and ulnar wafer resection. The JRF was compared among the 4 conditions. Results Average baseline DRUJ JRF for the 8 arms increased significantly after diaphyseal ulnar shortening osteotomy (7.2 vs 10.3 N). Average JRF after re-lengthening the ulna and wafer resection was 6.9 and 6.7 N, respectively. There were no differences in JRF among baseline, re-lengthened, and wafer resection conditions. Conclusions Distal radioulnar joint JRF increased significantly after ulnar diaphyseal shortening osteotomy and did not increase after ulnar wafer resection. Clinical relevance Diaphyseal ulnar shortening osteotomy increases DRUJ JRF, which may lead to DRUJ arthrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2206-2212
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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